Apply for a visitor visa and eTA from outside Canada: When you make a new application

Visitor Visa

As we know already, the travel restrictions are imposed all over the world at a certain level and Canada is one of them where many travel restrictions are implemented. But Canada has also given certain exemption. In that case, if you have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) and you’re exempt or in the US, you can travel to Canada if you’re coming for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose.

Canada is temporarily changing on how to apply for a visitor visa (including transit visa), eTA, study permit, or work permit. Please note that Until June 9, 2020, there will be a suspension of some application procedures.

How to apply for a visitor visa or eTA

If you wish to apply for visitor visa or eTA, follow these steps given below:

  1. You must check to make sure that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions if you’re outside the US.
  2. If you’re not eligible to travel to Canada, don’t apply during the suspension (May 19 to June 9, 2020). You will not be able to come to Canada.

Before you plan your travel, make sure you meet one of the criteria[

When you apply for a visitor visa for the first time

When you are applying, you must self-identify on the application form that you qualify for the exemption and traveling for an essential reason in order to prioritize and process the application. Please follow the below-mentioned steps to make an application:

  1. For a visitor to travel to Canada, you must apply online as only online application will be accepted and processed
  2. When you answer the question about the purpose of travel, enter the following information exactly as given, so that your application is prioritized
    1. In the given form, for question 1 a) purpose of travel, choose “other” from the drop-down menu
    2. In the given form, for question 1 b) description field, write “COVID-19” exactly like this (you must use capital letters)
  3. Pay the application fees and submit the required documents and biometrics. Applicants are granted 90 days instead of 30 days for biometrics as special measures due to COVID-19.
  4. You must provide evidence that you meet at least one of the travel exemption criteria depending upon the condition you fulfill along with the proof of the essential reason for travel
  5. You will receive an email if your application is approved or refused and you may receive a letter requesting more information, in case. If your application is approved, you will be notified of the next steps in the process.

When you apply for an eTA for the first time

Please refer to the below-given steps to apply:

  1. You are required to apply online
  2. After applying, send a Web form to inform that you are exempted from travel restriction and your essential purpose of traveling to Canada
  3. While filling the form, please do the following:
    1. From the drop-down menu, under Type of application/inquiry, select “Electronic Travel Authorization,” and then “Case Specific Enquiries.”
    2. In the text box, tell us you’ve applied for an eTA and explain how you meet one of the exemption criteria
  4. When you have filled the form, take the following actions:
    1. Answer “yes” to the question “Would you like to include a document with your submission?” and upload the evidence that you meet exemption criteria and evidence of the essential purpose
  5. Approval of eTA
    1. If your eTA is automatically approved, you will receive an approval email with the details
    2. If your eTA is not automatically approved, you will receive an email with next steps

Please note that you need to prepare properly before arriving at the airport to travel to Canada.

You must bring the evidence that you have mentioned as fulfilling exemption criteria. If you can’t produce the proof, you won’t be allowed to board your flight to Canada.

Airlines will conduct your health check and anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board the flight.

On arrival in Canada, you will have to go through a health assessment at the airport.

You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.


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